Britain’s youngest ever alcoholic has been found. The AFP reported earlier this week that a three-year-old child was hospitalized for treatment regarding alcohol addiction. Patient confidentiality rules prohibit health officials from disclosing the youngster’s condition or identity. A National Health Service spokeswoman said:
“We treat alcohol abuse very seriously, and have specialist teams and experts on hand who are there to treat young patients with alcohol-related problems.”
This is one of those news reports that you wish were from The Onion, The Borowitz Report, or some like-minded satirical publication. Unfortunately, this one is all true. Not really something you want your child to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for.
I can only break this down to two possible causes, both equally bad examples of awful parenting. Either the child was purposefully fed alcohol by its parents (which is child abuse), or the child raided the parents liquor cabinet when nobody was looking. However, for the child to have become addicted, this would need have happened a lot, and the liquor cabinet would need to have been at floor level. I suppose the child could have just stood on a chair for access, but either way, the child would have needed to have been unsupervised consistently over a long span of time (which is child neglect). So we have a choice between child abuse and child neglect. The jury’s still out, so to speak, but either way that’s what you call a lose-lose situation.
There’s no excuse for this. Although, c’mon, we have all had the temptation. You know, little Johnny won’t shut up or calm down. You’re super stressed, pulling your hair out. And then you think it, “Can’t I just put a shot of something in Johnny’s juice tonight … just so I can get some sleep?” But nobody really does this. And if they do, nobody does this repeatedly, to the point of addiction. We don’t know who the parents or guardians are, but whoever they are, they get the Five Things At Once What Not To Do Award of the week.